David Nicolas Parel, France-Switzerland

NdF Gallery - France-Switzerland

© David Nicolas Parel, #1 Arnold Classic, Colombus, 2015,
series Arnold Classic - Backstage, courtesy NdF Gallery
Born in 1978 in Annecy, the French-Swiss David Nicolas Parel is currently based in Geneva. Originally a film director, his photographic work started in 2012 when his brother Gary started body-building and asked him to capture the behind-the-scenes. Parel’s photographic approach is instinctive and the body’s expression is a common theme among his subjects.

In 2016, he was the finalist in the Reportage category of the prestigious Swiss Photo Award, and then went on to produce a photo reportage series for French charity Handicap International on refugee families on the Syrian and Jordanian borders. Today he is working on the subject of prostitution in Geneva.

At Foto Doc’ Collection

The “Arnold Classic - Backstage” series particularly resonates with Parel because it represents his debut as an artist and a world that he knows well, himself being a former body-builder.

For three years, he immerged himself behind the scenes of the world's most prestigious bodybuilding & fitness competitions : the Arnold Classic, organised by Arnold Schwarzenegger, himself a former iconic body-builder. Photographers are usually denied access to the competitions backstages, but Parel was allowed to follow the athletes & the team and captured very intimate moments. Beyond the fascination for supernatural bodies, the images highlight the humanity of these athletes, and some of their solitude.